PM's advisor provides insight

Key points from the recent Iraq-U.S. military dialogue meetings

BAGHDAD, August 21 — An Iraqi delegation assured U.S. counterparts during a recent visit to Washington that American interests in Iraq have not been harmed in recent months.

Khalid Al-Yaqoubi, Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani, revealed details from the high-level discussions during a conversation with journalist Karim Hamadi, broadcasted on 964.  Al-Yaqoubi shared the following points:

  • Both parties agreed to establish new rules of engagement that define the roles of every soldier, whether they are advisors or involved in other tasks in Iraq.
  • Previously, U.S. drones used to fly armed at an altitude of 3,000 meters over Iraqi airspace. The new agreement dictates that aircraft will now only fly over areas where ISIS is present at an altitude of 5,000 meters.
  • All U.S. convoys entering with their advisors will require prior approval from the Iraqi government.
  • Formation of a Military Committee: An agreed-upon military committee will assess the readiness of Iraqi forces and evaluate the seriousness of the threat, aiming to strengthen weak areas in the Iraqi forces. The ultimate goal is to remove all foreign forces from Iraqi soil and airspace.
  • Both parties agreed not to act unilaterally during this period. The Iraqis reminded the Americans of their past individual actions, such as striking Popular Mobilization Units’ bases in Al-Qaim and the siege of the embassy, emphasizing the severe consequences of such actions that neither side can bear.
  • The Americans’ interests in Iraq have historically been vulnerable to attacks since 2003, but this changed with the arrival of the current leadership. The Iraqis emphasized that the political agreement between the two countries is crucial for safeguarding mutual interests and reminded the Americans that their interests had remained unharmed for the past nine months.
  • The Americans demonstrated flexibility and understanding regarding the Iraqi situation. Both parties signed meeting minutes and issued a final statement, which was published by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State.